Pastor Kevin Redding
Adult Ministries Pastor, Shiloh Community Church
Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11
“‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah 10 ‘Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!’ 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.”
I have to admit that while this Psalm is a great Psalm of comfort and hope, it is one that I
struggle with…specifically verse 10. I’m not a very still person, especially in the middle of
turmoil and trouble. Look at the description of what’s going on…the earth is giving way;
the mountains are falling into the sea; the waters are roaring and foaming; and the mighty mountains are trembling at the fierceness of the situation around them.
Then the Psalmist reminds us to “pause” (Selah).
Over the past several weeks, I’ve talked to and heard from many people whose lives
(specifically marriages) are “crashing into the sea” and giving way. While the storms and
earthquakes of life aren’t limited to marriages (everyday we see and hear of the turmoil
that is dividing our nation), it is the family unit and marriages that I am watching being
beaten by the waves of sin—selfishness, pride, envy, lust, division, unforgiveness,
abandonment, strife, unfaithfulness, apathy, blame, jealousy, etc. It seems that multiple
times each week, I’m sitting with a couple or hearing from friends whose marriages have
either fallen into the ocean or are nearing that point.
I’ll be honest, the end of last week I found myself very discouraged. It seemed nothing I
said to these couples helped secure their foundation. Nothing that I gave them to do
seemed to stop the waves from crashing and the mountain from crumbling. Then, I went to the car wash, and was reminded of an illustration and verse 10 of this Psalm, “be still and know that I am God…”
As you go through the car wash, you are guided to line your car tires up in the track and
once you are safely and security in place you are given 3 instructions…(1) put your car in
neutral; (2) take your foot of the brake; (3) keep your hands off the wheel. These are good
reminders for us, in the midst of tumultuous periods in our lives, as well as calmness.
It starts with getting aligned with God…His Word and His Spirit. That is what needs to
always guild us through our lives. The Word and the Spirit keep us “in line” and keeps us
moving straight to where God wants us go. The Word and the Spirit help us navigate through the circumstances of life. As I watched the brushes and foam and water hit my car, I knew I was secure because I was in proper alignment.
It is when we decide to put our hands “on the wheel” and decide that the Word and the
Spirit no longer need to guide us, we get “off track.” When we “step on the brake” and
disobey what the Word tells us, and resist when the Spirit convicts us, we find ourselves in the midst of the storm with seemingly no relief. When we “get out of neutral” and decide we are going to take matters into our own hands, we can cause a lot of damage to ourselves and others.
As the tumults come, if we’re aligned with the guidance and walk in obedience to the Word and the Spirit, we are safe. We can “be still” and know that God is with us and will never leave us or forsake us. It’s a matter of aligning with Him, continually abiding in obedience to Him, and allowing Him to be our fortress in the storm—that’s when we can pause in the reality that we are truly secure.